A few weeks back I decided to try my hand at making dumplings—long story short they didn't turn out that well. The filling was great but the dough for the wrappers was a doughy sticky mess. With a heavy heart I tossed my dumplings into the trash and headed out for my favorite 5-for-$1 dumpling joints to satisfy my craving.
Not being one who is easily defeated in the kitchen I decided to try this recipe for Potsticker Dumplings from Mad Hungry by Lucinda Scala Quinn. This version is made with store-bought dumpling wrappers and after my disastrous dumpling dough attempt I decided there was no shame in that.
The dipping sauce and filling recipes are made up of similarly Asian-inspired ingredients and simple to assemble. The real challenge here is perfecting your dumpling fold and pinch skills. I was well beyond my fifteenth dumpling before mine even vaguely resembled a pro version. But by the twentieth, I had really gotten into the fold-pinch groove and they looked pretty darn good if I do say so myself.
Once the dumplings were all folded, I put them in the freezer as a preventative measure to preserve their shape. The final cooking is a combination of frying and steaming, the dumplings are fried on the bottom and then a bit of water is added to the pan which is covered to create steam to cook the filling through.
Trying the finished dumplings filled me with a deep sense of self-satisfaction. They turned out beautifully—maybe not quite as perfect as the ones from the dumpling house, but I had succeeded in making them myself, which made them taste even better.
Next order of business? Conquer the dumpling dough.
Win Mad Hungry
As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Mad Hungry to give away this week.
- For the Soy-Vinegar Dipping Sauce:
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 whole scallion, trimmed and sliced
- 1 hot green chile, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons water
- For the Dumplings:
- 1/2 pound ground turkey, chicken, or pork (if using poultry, add 1 teaspoon of peanut oil to the mixture)
- 1 cup finely chopped bok choy
- 1/2 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1 large egg white
- 36 dumpling wrappers
- Peanut oil, for frying
In a small bowl, combine all ingredients for the dipping sauce. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix together the turkey, bok choy, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, and salt. Stir in the egg white.
Working with six at a time, lay down the dumpling wrappers on a work surface. Spoon 1 tablespoon of filling onto each one. Lightly wet the edge of each wrapper with water. Fold the dough over and pinch around the edges. This is easiest done by picking up each dumpling and pinching the edges with the thumb and forefinger. Place on a baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap to keep the dumplings from drying out. Repeat until all filling is used. (Freeze any dumplings that will not be cooked immediately. After they are frozen, transfer them to resealable plastic bags or wrap in plastic.)